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Old 06-19-2010, 04:02 AM   #1
raider OP
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Anyone got BMW Vario cases...

...and dropped them?

My quest for my preferred luggage continues. I used Hepco ABS plastic panniers on my Strom, and they were bombproof. I know Pelicans, too, are reliably rugged. The flexibility of well-sorted plastic offers a robustness that aluminium can't match. In theory, the Hepco top-loading Gobi setup is brilliant, but in execution it looks clumsy and awkward on the 800.

The Varios offer a neat mounting system, relatively low price, matching keys, and a narrow profile - but how do they crash?
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raider
... how do they crash?
Not well, especially when expanded.
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildman
Not well, especially when expanded.
Hmm... concerning, but I'll wait until counsel make the case for the defence before I render judgement
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:46 AM   #4
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I had the Vario cases on my 650 and it's true, they did not drop well. If you looked at them too hard, they would ding and dent. I fixed that with Linex (the bed liner stuff).

Did the same with my 1200 GS and had a wee tip over last week. Not a scratch! And I was very suprised that they also did not push in cockeyed. (They were expanded and the bike was fully loaded at the time.)

The Linex is very light and in my opinion, looks good. They can also color match now. Here are pictures of both.

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newstar
I had the Vario cases on my 650 and it's true, they did not drop well. If you looked at them too hard, they would ding and dent. I fixed that with Linex (the bed liner stuff).

Did the same with my 1200 GS and had a wee tip over last week. Not a scratch! And I was very suprised that they also did not push in cockeyed. (They were expanded and the bike was fully loaded at the time.)

The Linex is very light and in my opinion, looks good. They can also color match now. Here are pictures of both.
Dings and dents I can cope with - they add a certain patina to an ADV bike - but what about breaking hinges, catches, mounts or panels?

Incidentally, your 1200 is very, err, blue!
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Old 06-19-2010, 06:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raider
Dings and dents I can cope with - they add a certain patina to an ADV bike - but what about breaking hinges, catches, mounts or panels?

Incidentally, your 1200 is very, err, blue!

Yes it is....hence the plate:

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 06-19-2010, 06:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raider
Dings and dents I can cope with - they add a certain patina to an ADV bike - but what about breaking hinges, catches, mounts or panels?
Prior to Linex, I trashed the panels on my 650. A small gravel parking lot drop pretty much destroyed one of them and I had to replace it. Those were the older model cases that you had to struggle to manually expand. I've never had problems with the hinges, mounts, or catches with or without the linex. One small irritation (1200 GS) is the cord that holds the lid when the case is open. It tends to catch when you close the case if you don't tuck it in. Sometimes, I have to expand the case to free it but with the lever system, it's easy to do.
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Old 06-19-2010, 06:44 AM   #8
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My top case hasn't been hurt by any of my many drops. No drops with the side cases yet, i just don't use them enough...
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:00 AM   #9
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Where would you go to have this coating put on the cases? Is it something you purchase and apply yourself? Very interesting look-I like it.
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:00 AM   #10
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I'll be the odd ball. I really like mine. I've had 2-3 "drops" but not a hard crash [yet]. No damage, always powder dry even in hard rain. They are scratched to hell from eastern US deep woods roads, but I kinda like that too.

I also like the quick "one finger" on-off and lack of bulky rack. I happen to take them off almost daily. I like the higher ground clearance and I like the way they match the bike (better than a big square metal box).

But- I never expand them. The first time I hauled my camp with them expanded, I had a harder time closing them back. The plastic had bent a bit, and the slick in-out slide wasn't "right" any more. I could see it was a much weaker design expanded, so I just adapted camp to a smaller box [which I needed to do anyway]. The expansion is there when I need it (milk or helmet added to my work stuff) but I keep it rare and light duty. Since then (5,000 miles with much hard off road) I've had no problems.

Maybe its cool to hate on them, but I think its a great box.... But don't take my word for it. Hell I like the stock seat too.


p
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SlowRide13 screwed with this post 06-19-2010 at 07:32 AM
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:46 AM   #11
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Thanks Slowride! That's one for the defence. I hadn't realised they looked so... peculiar... from behind though. Hmmm... decisions, decisions!
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raider
Thanks Slowride! That's one for the defence. I hadn't realised they looked so... peculiar... from behind though. Hmmm... decisions, decisions!
Peculiar on perhaps, but the slickest in the business when off....
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by cyclynnut
Where would you go to have this coating put on the cases? Is it something you purchase and apply yourself? Very interesting look-I like it.
Check for your local Linex shop. May be listed under truck bed liner. I recommend them over Rhino due to the process and the mixture that they use. It also does not fade. It should be less than $100 if you are doing them in black. Not much more for color.
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newstar
I had the Vario cases on my 650 and it's true, they did not drop well. If you looked at them too hard, they would ding and dent. I fixed that with Linex (the bed liner stuff).

The F650GS single cases are nothing like the ones which were made for the twins so it's not really of much value in determining their crashworthiness. The single versions had thin aluminum outer plates that would dent if the wind was too strong, which the twin versions don't have.

Also, the "singles" version had really chintzy hooks behind them as their lower mounting point, and it was possible to tear those off quite easily. In fact one time in a campground I passed a bike having those Vario boxes too closely, forgetting I had my Givi side boxes, and one of my Givi boxes knocked a Vario box off the other bike, breaking the brackets clean off. How embarassing!

But this is the "Parallel Universe" so it is the twins version we should be looking at.

I have the twin Vario boxes on my F800GS but have not dropped the bike on the boxes yet. But I am fairly sure they'll be better than the single version as the lower brackets are much more substantial (and adjustable too).
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:15 PM   #15
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I like mine, though I usually take them off when I intend to crash.

I have had some moderate low sides on dirt and gravel with them and they still work fine.

I believe, at least the BMW adventure cases are less likely to require bungy cords after a big crash, but the varios look better after light impacts.

I've seen 2 broken side vario cases and one broken top case.

Both side cases were damaged in high sides on pavement, the top case was obliterated in an end over.

All were fixed with glue and fiberglass.
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